Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center
FAPC prepares for 20-year anniversary
By Melanie Jackson, FAPC Communications Graduate Assistant
(Stillwater, Okla. – Oct. 4, 2016) Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center is approaching a big milestone. FAPC, a part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, will celebrate its 20-year anniversary in 2017.
Roy Escoubas, FAPC director, said since opening in January 1997, the center has continued to discover, develop, and deliver technical and business information that will stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.
“FAPC’s research laboratories, pilot-processing facilities, educational programs and seminars keep food and agricultural processors and entrepreneurs on the forefront of cutting-edge value-added processing and technology,” he said. “The center has assisted more than 1,000 Oklahoma clients through 3,000 technical and business projects.”
Tim Bowser, FAPC food-process engineer and professor in OSU’s department of biosystems and agricultural engineering, has helped fulfill FAPC’s mission since inception as one of the first two people hired in 1997.
“You felt like a little bit of a guinea pig,” Bowser said. “But the great part is you felt like you had a chance to chart new waters, a chance to really set the course and put the wind behind the sail.”
Bowser said he appreciates the diversity of projects he has the opportunity to work on at FAPC. The first client Bowser worked with was interested in developing a feed for turtles he raised and sold to pet stores.
“He was able to increase his sales and not only sell the turtles,” Bowser said, “but also sell a good, healthy food that would allow them to survive and live better. We brought turtles on campus and tested the food on them to see how they liked it and we monitored their health.”
Although the diversity of Bowser’s job makes each day interesting, Bowser said the best part of his job is the people with whom he works.
“It’s not just a job, it’s really an opportunity to help other people,” Bowser said. “That’s what the center is all about. It’s about adding value to food and ag products here in Oklahoma. And when you do that, you’re going to improve the lifestyle, the well-being of all those clients.”
Bowser said it is hard to believe he has been at FAPC for almost 20 years, but he is excited for the future.
“I think 20 years sure went fast,” Bowser said. “I think the next 20, if I’m here to see any of them, will go quickly too. I think the center’s goals and its original intentions are long lasting. I think they will sustain the center through the next 20 years easily.”
FAPC faculty and staff and are excited to celebrate FAPC’s 20-year anniversary, but are even more excited about the next 20 years of adding value to Oklahoma.
“The food and agricultural industries have seen tremendous success during the last 20 years, thanks in large part to FAPC programs,” Escoubas said. “The future of FAPC is bright, and I truly believe the best is yet to come.”
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Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.